Weekender Bahrain, Friday, July 21 2017

Top 10 Tips for booking your next holiday

admin 16-Feb-2017

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1. Go incognito -

   Have you ever found a great price on a flight only to come back a day later to a massive price hike? This has happened to me several times and what I didn’t know at the time was that airlines can monitor our search history and adjust the prices accordingly. To avoid this, browse on an incognito window to search undetected.

 

2. Book flights in advance –

   Savings are generally higher the more ahead you book.Usually 2 months in advance is a good time to book especially if your dates are fixed.And if you are planning during peak season then book even earlier!

 

3. Use airlinecomparison search sites –

    These sites search multiple airlines finding the best possible options for your requirements. I always use Skyscanner and find them very reliable. It even allows you to search a whole month so you can see which the cheapest days to travel are. Once you have shortlisted your flight options, I recommend you go to the actual airline site to see if you can get a better deal. If the prices are the same then its better book directly with the airline. Always read the fine print when booking with budget airlines, they could charge extra for luggage, seat booking etc. and you might land up paying more than a regular airline. Also check for duration of travel, you may find an absolute bargain but with 2 stop overs and 5 times the amount of time as a direct flight you will be exhausted by the time to get to your destination.

 

4. Always book flight seats in advance –

    You don’t want to get on the plane to realize that your entire group has been split up or that you have been placed in the middle of the row on a long distance flight. Some airlines show a comprehensive layout of the plane while others just show the basics. I always use Seatguru to check the layout of the plane in order to choose the best seats. If you are travelling with an infant then you need to call the airline to prebook the bassinet seat as soon as you book the ticket. I always check to ensure a few days before travelling that it is still confirmed.

5.  Compare hotels –

      When booking hotels I also recommend using a comparison search on a site like Hotelscombined. These sites will do all the hard work for you, searching hundreds of websites for the best rates on hotels. Once you find a hotel you like then make sure to go to the hotels website to check for a better deal. Also ensure that all the taxes are included in the rate you are seeing which can make a big difference in price. Once you have shortlisted hotels, read other people’s reviews on a site like TripAdvisorwhich helps a great deal in selecting one. If you get a better rate and book it on a third party website, I would suggest directly emailing the hotel to ensure that your booking is in fact confirmed. 

 

6.  Use car rental comparison sites –  

     If you need to rent a car while on holiday use a car rental comparison site to check the prices on several car rental companies. I always use HolidayAutos and have found several times that their rates were better than going direct. You should check the prices direct any way to be sure before booking.

 

7. It pays to be loyal –

     Airlines, hotels and car hire companies all have loyalty programs. Loyalty points can result in free flights or free nights in the hotel. Even if you plan to book there only once I suggest you still join the loyalty club. There might be added benefits like an extra weight allowance, discounted rates or an automatic room upgrade. If you use a specific airline a lot then it also pays to link your credit card to that airline so you can collect loyalty points every time you use your credit card.


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Hasina Patel

Hasina Patel is a South African living in Bahrain with her husband and three children. She is an avid reader and you can often find her curled up reading a good book. Hasina is passionate about travelling and would gladly drop everything to travel the world with her family. You can find her on instagram @bahrainmama.